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Shore Point Distributing Co. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 701

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 14, 2017

SHORE POINT DISTRIBUTING COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS LOCAL 701, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PETER G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.

         This matter is before the Court on a motion to vacate an arbitration award that was issued in favor of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 701 (Union) by Plaintiff, Shore Point Distribution Company (Shore Point) (ECF No. 4). Shore Point argues the Arbitrator was presented with one issue, and the Arbitrator's Award and remedy went far beyond the issue agreed upon by the parties. More specifically, the issue submitted to the Arbitrator was “did the Company's implementation of a new loading procedure violate the labor contract, and if so, what should the remedy be in accordance with the contract.” In opposition, the Union argues that the Court should not reach Shore Point's issue because there was no final remedy or monetary award entered by the Arbitrator, and, accordingly, this action to vacate is premature and not ripe for determination under the complete arbitration rule.

         I.

         Shore Point delivers beer and other beverages to retailers throughout eight counties in central New Jersey. Its drivers and warehouse employees are represented by the Union under a labor agreement that expired on March 31, 2017 (the “CBA”).

         The procedural history of this case is straight forward: According to the Arbitrator, Shore Point

. . . announced a new night shift loading procedure on February 10, 2016, as an incentive to increase productivity. The Union requested a meeting to discuss the new procedure, and the parties mutually agreed to meet on March 1, 2016. Meanwhile, on February 15, 2016, the Company unilaterally implemented the new procedure.

         The new procedure is set forth in a memorandum dated February 10, 2016 from William Gutierrez, Jr., Shore Point's Vice President of Finance to Ron Lake, Secretary-Treasurer and Business Agent of the Union. The new procedure for the night shift is:

         New night loading procedure

         To facilitate the loading of trucks the update procedure will be as follows:

• At the start of the shift the night supervisors will divide the work into even piles based on the number of loaders available for the evening.
• The piles will contain a summary sheet that will note the number of cases, number of bbls, amount of full pallets and what are the loads are being delivered to.
• The night loaders will then be able to pick the piles based on the overall seniority of the employees.
• Once a loader has completed their assigned work they will be paid for eight regular hours even if he has been at work for less than eight hours.
• At management's discretion the employee will either be released or directed to stay and continue working if he is directed to continue working he will be immediately begin being paid at the overtime rate.
• Management will review the procedure and adjust as needed.

         The Union was not in favor of the new loading procedure because the procedure benefited the night shift without providing any benefit to the day shift employees. Ron Lake testified at the ...


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